Atopic dermatitis is the most common type of eczema. It’s a chronic condition that causes itchy skin and other skin symptoms. Although most people with this condition have symptoms in childhood, it can also develop in adults.
It’s possible that smoking might raise your risk of atopic dermatitis or trigger a flare in symptoms. Smoking also raises your risk of many other health conditions.
Read on to learn more about the risks of smoking and the benefits of quitting.
According to a
More research is needed to understand this link. It’s possible that:
- smoking raises your risk of developing atopic dermatitis
- atopic dermatitis-related stress increases your chances of smoking
- shared risk factors increase your risk of both atopic dermatitis and smoking
Experts believe that atopic dermatitis is caused by multiple factors, including:
- genetic factors
- environmental factors
- changes in your immune system
A combination of these factors may alter how your skin barrier works. Your skin barrier is the outer layer of skin that helps keep moisture in and harmful irritants out. Changes in your skin barrier may cause you to develop symptoms of atopic dermatitis
Tobacco smoke negatively affects your skin barrier and immune system in multiple ways.
Tobacco smoke contains chemicals that:
- cause oxidative stress
- increase moisture loss from your skin
- promote the breakdown of collagen and elastic fibers in your skin
This damages connective tissue and promotes drying and premature aging of your skin, which negatively affects your skin barrier.
Tobacco smoke also triggers inflammation, which might raise your risk of atopic dermatitis or trigger a flare in eczema symptoms.
Benzopyrene is one of the compounds in tobacco smoke that triggers inflammation. A 2016 study found that people with atopic dermatitis have higher levels of an immune receptor that interacts with benzopyrene. Experiments in mice found that higher levels of this immune receptor may increase inflammation from tobacco smoke exposure.
Although research findings have been mixed,
Exposure to secondhand smoke also raises the risk of other health conditions, including:
- respiratory infections
- ear infections
- lung cancer
- heart disease
It also increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in babies.
If you smoke, taking steps to cut down and quit can help protect your health and the health of people around you. Avoiding smoking in shared spaces can also help protect others from exposure to secondhand smoke. No level of exposure to secondhand smoke is safe.
If you smoke, taking steps to cut back and quit has benefits for your skin and many other parts of your body.
Quitting smoking may help lower your risk of many health conditions that are more common than average in people with atopic dermatitis, including:
- high blood pressure
- high blood cholesterol
- coronary heart disease
- peripheral vascular disease
- heart attack
Talk with your doctor to learn more about treatments and tools that can help you quit.
Your doctor may recommend or prescribe:
- smoke cessation counseling
- nicotine-replacement therapy (NRT)
- oral medication, including bupropion or varenicline
Atopic dermatitis is more common than average in people who smoke. It may also be more common in those who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home.
Although more research is needed to understand the link between atopic dermatitis and smoking, there’s no doubt that quitting smoking can help support the health of your skin and other parts of your body.
Quitting smoking may lower your risk of many health conditions that are more common than average in people with eczema. It may also help protect people around you from the dangers of secondhand smoke.
Talk with your doctor to learn more about smoking cessation counseling, medications, and other resources that can help you cut back and quit.